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Werner Vogels, Stephen Johnston, Kimron Shapiro, David Linden; Examining the interaction between WM and the attentional blink. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):1022. doi: 10.1167/6.6.1022.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Impaired report of a masked second target about 500 ms after successful identification of a masked first target is known as the attentional blink (AB). The cause of this impairment has been attributed to a failure to consolidate information in working memory. Previous studies investigating the relationship between AB and WM have reported inconclusive results with respect to the effect of load and content on the AB-effect proper (for example, Akyürek & Hommel, 2005) but have consistently shown that concurrent WM tasks impair overall performance. To further validate this conclusion, we used an AB paradigm to test whether WM maintenance has a detrimental effect on successful identification in an AB task. Participants performed a 3AFC AB task whilst maintaining 1 or 3 objects in WM that were either T1-related, T2-related or neutral. Results showed that WM content, not load, affects the AB. T2-related WM content yielded the largest AB. Together these findings suggest task-relevant information in working memory, not capacity, affects dual-target demands on attention.
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